Today, we welcome author Linda M. Rhinehart Neas, as she shares ways to educate with your blog. Linda’s latest book: Gogo’s Dream, is a collection of poems which is dedicated to those who work to aid the peoples of Swaziland. Linda will be stopping in to respond to your questions and comments, and you will have a chance to win her book! (Randomly selected winner will be posted here tomorrow.)
By Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
The phenomenon of blogging has developed in several ways. First, it is used by many as an online, open to the public journal; however, as time went on, it has developed into a tool for sharing information, ideas, and causes as well as educating others.
Sharing what you know with others is a basic function of humanity. Long ago, young people would spend hours with the wise people, the artisans, and/or the warriors to learn how to continue the crafts and arts of their community. Formal education took this learning to a new level, unfortunately, making knowledge more of a privilege than a right. Those who could afford an education could learn while those who lacked money, remained behind. However, with the advent of the computer, this all changed. Now people around the world are able to learn online. The gap between those that have and those who do not have, has closed considerably.
Blogging allows writers the opportunity to take their knowledge on a particular subject and share it with the world. It is an amazing experience to write something in the US and have someone in Australia or India respond to what you wrote!
Some tips on writing to educate others:
• write about what you know best – if you have never built an engine, then don’t start a blog on rebuilding your Model T!
• be accurate with your information – readers will not appreciate assumptions on a subject – if you don’t know, don’t guess
• remember that when you teach something, you must share the language of whatever it is you are teaching, also – for instance, those that knit may know what a purl stitch is, however, non-knitters may simply think you are a poor speller!
• respond to comments – if someone is thoughtful enough to write to you, you should at least thank them, even if you disagree with what they say
• take criticism as an opportunity to grow, not as an attack
• when appropriate, add humor – everyone learns better when they can laugh
Blogs that educate are one of the best tools we have to share our knowledge. I have been blogging for some time now and have used my blogs both as an educational tool to share thoughts on poetry, social justice causes and life lessons as well as to develop my students’ English skills.
Most recently, I have used my blog as a vehicle to educate others on the work being done in Swaziland by Possible Dreams International (PDI), a non-profit organization that works in the poorest communities, helping to bring independence through education, healthcare and community-building. It was through my blog that I began to formulate the idea of doing more to help fundraise for PDI.
Then, through an educational blog on poetry, I entered the Poem-a-Day challenge that led finally to my book, Gogo’s Dream: Swaziland Discovered. The rest is, as they say, history!
BIO: Linda M. Rhinehart Neas self-published her first written work at the tender age of seven on the cardboard she gathered from her Dad’s shirts when they came back from the laundry. Since then, she has written extensively in various venues, publishing and performing her work throughout New England, including her own column in two newspapers in Southern Maine and as an online writer and contributing editor at BrightHub.com.
In February 2008, she self-published her first complete book of poems, Winter of the Soul. She recently published, Gogo’s Dream: Discovering Swaziland, a collection of poems dedicated to those who work to aid the peoples of Swaziland. Currently, she is working on several children’s books.
Ms. Neas lives in an enchanted cottage in western Massachusetts with her Beloved.